Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summer Reading Party

Go to summer activity: reading party in Mountainview cemetery. 

Before you think 'morbid' or 'goths in hot weather,' let me tell you that while Mountainview has an impressive number of graves and mausoleums, it's also very park-like. It has winding, uncrowded roads where people walk and run, often with their pets, beautifully landscaped hills and grassy expanses designed by none other than Frederick Law Olmsted (Oakland's Central Park?), and some of the best views of the Bay Area. It's also full of history — many notable Bay Area and California families have members buried here, and I've always meant to take one of the free, docent-led tours. It's easy to enjoy walking, running, or having a picnic in such a beautiful place, and I'd say the surroundings cast more of a contemplative than morbid vibe on these activities. We have a favorite spot to lay out a blanket, eat delicious sandwiches from Southie (Oakland's best sandwiches?) and read whatever books and magazines we pile into tote bags. Just don't eat the cute little strawberries the grow out of the grass. Do you have a favorite local spot to chill out and read on a sunny afternoon?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Tune In: Indian Summer

It's almost September and everyone's inner school calendar is probably telling them that summer's almost over. Luckily, in the Bay Area, it's all about Indian Summer. June gloom seeped into too much of July, so I'm looking forward to what I hope will be a gloriously awesome September and October. I'd say we're even owed a bit of November. In that spirit, here's a hopefully-not-belated summer playlist. I recommend listening on a boat if possible, but it should be equally effective for looking out the window on a road trip, walking around your neighborhood on a sunny day, or having a picnic at a park or beach.

Billy Bragg & Wilco | California Stars
Unkown Mortal Orchestra | Swim and Sleep
Kurt Vile | Wakin on a Pretty Day
Roxy Music | More Than This
Devendra Banhart | Never Seen Such Good Things
The Flying Burrito Brothers | Christine's Tune
Os Mutantes | A Minha Menina
Broken Social Scene | Pacific Theme
ELO | Strange Magic
Harry Nilsson | Coconut
Lee Hazelwood & Nancy Sinatra | I've Been Down So Long
Neon Indian | Polish Girl

Listen via Spotify.

Monday, August 19, 2013


Pimmsicles popsicles
I'm trying to keep up my (one year) tradition of making popsicles on our somewhat-annual houseboat trip. I made avocado popsicles last time and this year I wanted to try something boozy. As it's often Pimms O'Clock on the boat, I figured Pimmsicles would be perfect. These were super yummy, and it's not often you get to bite into a refreshingly frozen slice of cucumber, strawberry or kiwi. I've posted the recipe I used below, but for more recipe ideas and tips on popsicle technology (apparently my molds are way behind the times, but I still love their classic look), check out my genius friend Kim's Project Popsicle article for The Hairpin.

Pimmsicles popsicles
Recipe from

  • 1+1/2 cups Pimms No. 1
  • 2 cups flattened ginger beer
  • 2 tbsp minty syrup* (1 bunch mint, 1 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar)
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1/4 of a cucumber
  • 2 strawberries
Bring the Pimms to a boil in a saucepan for exactly 2 minutes. Take off the heat and pour into a heatproof container to let cool. Stir the minty syrup into the flattened ginger beer. Peel and thinly slice the kiwi into rounds; wash and slice the cucumber into rounds; hull and slice the strawberries.

Place a slice of fruit (or mix and match the three fruits) into the popsicle molds, and pour in the minty ginger beer mixture until it fills about 2/3 of the mold. Then pour in the prepared Pimms, leaving a little space at the top. Stir gently so the mixture stays two-toned. Stick in the popsicle sticks and freeze overnight!

*To make minty syrup rinse off a handful of mint leaves and put into a saucepan with 1 cup of water and 3/4 of a cup of sugar. Slowly bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar, then raise the heat and boil for 1 minute. Lower the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, then take off the heat and allow to infuse for at least a half hour. Strain through a sieve, discard the mint leaves, and allow syrup to cool.

Pimmsicles popsicles
Pimmsicles popsicles

Pimmsicles popsicles

Friday, August 9, 2013

Gone Houseboatin' 2013

metroSHIP houseboatToday we leave for our somewhat-annual houseboating trip with 13 of our friends. We seriously look forward to it all year long and probably couldn't be more excited — I was telling Tim it feels like what looking forward to Christmas as a kid felt like. Last year, we all skipped it since so many of us were getting married and going on other trips, so we're extra excited this summer. We'll be spending our days lounging on the deck reading mags or trashy/dishy books, drinking cocktails, floating in the lake's warm, crystal waters on floaties, sharing dinners, tossing each other beers from the boat, listening to smooth music on Yacht Nite, gazing at the stars, and going on midnight canoe rides. Here are some fun houseboats from around the place — the one above is the super cool metroSHIP, a modern houseboat designed by metro prefab, makers of other prefab designs including a shed and a cabin. Obviously, I'm convinced I need my very own houseboat now.
HouseboatModern Houseboats
HouseboatHouseboat Terrace

Modern Houseboats

Vintage Houseboats

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Photo Booth Life

True Photobooth Photo Strips
Now that our friends have launched a photo booth company and almost everyone we know has gotten married (including us), we've got quite the collection of photo booth strips. I've left them around the house in various places because they look cool all together and it's fun to pick them up and flip through them — they instantly transport you to the fun times you had at everyone's wedding. Having a photo booth at a wedding or event is so, so fun and I'd highly recommend it. If you're thinking about having a photo booth set up in the Bay Area, definitely check out True Photo Booth!

True Photobooth Photo Strips
True Photobooth Photo Strips
True Photobooth Photo Strips

True Photobooth Photo Strips

True Photobooth Photo Strips

True Photobooth Photo Strips

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thrift Thrills

Thrift Store Scores
Someone recently asked me what my favorite weekend looks like. Without thinking I blurted out: long and on a road trip. Road trips are just, the best. Even mini road trips to close-by but out-of-your-everyday-way thrifting spots. It feels awesomely free and perfect to be zipping along in a car filled with your best friends watching scenery go by whether it's beautiful or boring, hatching plans for future trips, listening to your favorite songs, and wondering what you might find sorting through the racks listening to oldies, and what you might eat and drink for lunch at the obligatory post-thrifting stop. Last weekend, I did all these things, and came away with a collection of new-to-me stuff that's just so crazy it works.

Vintage Trim Hat

This vintage hat's shape and splash of orange trim called out to me from across the thrift shop. I feel like it's part Marni and part Holly Golightly.

Vintage Suede Ankle Boots
 I love an ankle boot, and these are a great shade of washed-out cranberry suede.

Vintage Concho Belt
 A colorful addition to my budding concho belt collection.

Oversize Tie Dye Caftan

Oversize Tie Dye Caftan
This caftan will either be an awesome dress or cover-up, or both.

Vintage Suede Ankle Boots
Vintage Trim Hat
Thrift Store Scores